James Suckling 95-96
Lots of graphite and crushed-stone character with redcurrants and pine needles. Medium body with silky and layered tannins. Pretty balance and elegance. 65% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 10% petit verdot and 3% cabernet franc.
The 2021 Haut-Bailly is a dark, rather somber wine. The aromatics alone are captivating, but there are strong savory inflections from the high percentage of Petit Verdot in this year’s blend. This deceptively mid-weight Haut-Bailly has plenty to offer. Spice, leather, tobacco and incense linger. The final blend also includes 10% press wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2031-2061
Seductive blackcurrant and juniper with purple floral touches on the nose. Smooth texture with high acidity giving sharp strawberry fruit balanced by both savoury and mineral touches – slate, crushed stone, smoke, violets and dark chocolate – very much in the style of the vintage with no harshness or overt opulence but instead gives a pure sense of classicism, restraint and refinement. Elegant and well structured with a long determined finish – this will continue to deliver pleasure for a long time. 10% press wine. No chaptalisation. 30% grand vin. 3.9pH. 3% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Yield 19hl/ha. First year in the new cellar.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2045
Jasper Morris 95
Impresses from the first moment with its enveloping nose, and purity of flavour. Plenty of estate signature, with finely grained tannins and creamy black fruit that is concentrated with density through the mid palate but not opulent, delivering cocoa bean, slate, cassis and gunsmoke personality and poise. One of the few where I can really see the comparison to 1996, or perhaps 2000, with firm tannins that are subdued but with clear ageing potential. An excellent Haut-Bailly, with a small 19hl/h yield, meaning that in this first year with the new cellar they used just 20 of the smallest size vats (out of 50 in total). Harvest September 27 to October 11. Axel Marhal consultant.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2044
Robert Parker 94-95+
A classic in the making, the 2021 Haut-Bailly wafts from the glass with aromas of dark berries and wild plums mingled with sweet spices, loamy soil, raw cocoa and violets. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and concentrated, with bright acids, ultra-refined tannins and a long, penetrating finish, it’s a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, only 22% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. With yields of a mere 19 hectoliters per hectare, it’s impressively intensely flavored despite its quintessentially elegant, classically proportioned profile. In many respects, it may represent the Cabernet-driven modern-day alter ego of the superb Merlot-dominant 1998 Haut-Bailly
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95+
The 2021 Château Haut-Bailly checks in as 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. It’s another elegant, pure, incredibly balanced wine from this château, offering complex aromatics (cassis, smoked tobacco, spicy wood, and earth), medium body, ripe, supple tannins, and a great finish. Hitting 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.9, this seamless beauty will drink nicely right out of the gate yet evolve for 25-30 years.